vintage stage play

Jayne Mansfield photographed on stage for the Broadway play ‘Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?’ (1955-1956)

Jayne’s agent arranged to her the test for the Broadway play 'Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?’ - a comedy satire about Hollywood. Jayne was not happy about it - she said “I want to be a film star, not a stage star”. But he tried to convince her, and she decided to give it a try. On the day of the test, Jayne exaggerated her acting, with hopes that they would dislike her - ironically, it was exactly what they wanted for the character, a over the top Hollywood Blonde Bombshell - Jayne got the part; and she was determined to do a good job. The play opened at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway on 13 October, 1955. A woman who worked with the costumes fitting stated: “She was always reading her lines, she was working really hard and was never temperamental“. Her co-star on the play, Orson Bean said: “I found her to be one of the most delightful people that I ever met and I was very close with Jayne for the entire run. She was totally guileless. She was crazy like a fox and knew exactly what she wanted. She never, ever, ever, once schluffed off a performance. She always gave 101% and it came out of that knowledge, that absolute knowledge that all eyes were on her.” The success was massive - it was sold out every night, everyone wanted to get a look at the woman that had her pictures on the front of all the magazines and newspapers around the world. 'Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?’ closed on 3 November 1956 after 444 performances.